2020 has been a year of well just pure craziness that no one could have ever envisaged. Having been locked away for the spring the summer arrived with a bang, good weather and everyone’s need to leave the house ASAP led to the largest uptake in paddlesports the industry has seen in a long time.



With many manufacturers behind on schedule, the madness ensued like an endless black Friday opening. As the stores ran low on stock the second-hand market erupted and the Covid Tax ensued. (Premium prices of second-hand equipment)

This Summer the biggest growth was certainly seen in the inflatable paddleboard market. Due to their user-friendly nature ISUPs are easy to transport and can be stored in even the smallest of apartments.

After a summer of madness, the autumn has arrived quickly and suddenly with many people keen to continue their newfound passion into the cooler months they are in search of the right equipment to keep them warm and safe.

In this post, I am giving an overview of how the Yak Adventure Equipment range fits neatly into the Stand Up Paddleboard market for all your winter adventures.

Yak Adventure Equipment is a UK based company specializing in the manufacture and distribution of kayaking and canoeing clothing, PFD’s and accessories. 
Specially designed for paddling, kayaking and canoeing, our equipment is designed to suit all styles and levels of experience. Our range includes buoyancy aids, paddle clothing, spray decks, headwear, gloves, footwear, accessories and dry bags.

Over the past number of years, Yak has reached out, alongside its big sister brand ‘Crewsaver’ to cross over and supply clothing and equipment for the growing Stand Up Paddleboard markets.

In the UK we are not gifted with good weather all year round so it is essential to build a level of experience and knowledge into what you need to wear in the winter months.

Wetsuits

As a debutant, the thought of watersports is often combined with cold smelly wetsuits and can put many people off. The good news is that wetsuit technologies are much more advanced than the cardboard feeling suits of yesteryear.

Both the Step in and Zip Long johns are designed with paddlesports in mind the Warm 3MM Neoprene will keep your lower body warm even when wet whilst the 1.5mm upper is super stretchy allowing for a full range of motion. The armless design is favoured with paddlers. Because we are not in the water as much as surfers you can easily layer up with extra thermals and waterproof jackets to keep you much warmer.

AdvantagesNegatives
Super stretchy for ultimate flexibility
Warm When Wet
Wetsuid will absorb impact from falling
Works best whilst wet
Can be cold initially
Wetsuits always smell no matter how you treat them

Wetsuit is a great option especially for beginners, they are lower cost and very durable.

Semi Dry

As your skill level improves you generally will find yourself spending more time on your board and less time in the water, this is the perfect time to think about staying dry.

With dryness comes great responsibility ,

Luckily for you here at Yak we have you covered (literally from head to toe) with our durable range of Semi-Dry clothing

Primarily designed for Canoeing and Kayaking we certainly know a thing or two about the water and staying warm, dry and comfortable in even the most adverse of conditions.

Our Semi Dry range is regarded as one of the strongest line ups in the industry.

So what is semi dry?

Well, I am glad you asked, its all in the name. Semi Dry within watersports means it will keep out most of the water. Usually 100% dry until the point of submersion at this point some water will find its way in. To combat this ingress our waterproof jackets and pants will have either latex, neoprene or a glide skin cuffs on the extremities, feet, wrists and neck

The Semi Dry option is usually comfier than a full dry suit and the allows better flexibility for the changing seasons Unless you are focused on Whitewater the SemiDry is our recommended set up.

Yak Apollo Touring Cag

Starting up top the Apollo is our preferred jacket and favoured by many of our team. Its been part our range for a few years now as a great jacket for touring and sea kayaking. What makes it ideal for SUP is the large open neck and hood options


Allowing you the option to open it up and keep you refreshed and cool until the weather changes and you can quickly cover-up. With a glide skin collar, you can adjust with the velcro tabs to give ultimate comfort without chafing.

The Latex wrist gaskets can take a little getting used to, but stop the unwelcome drips of water running down your arms. on some sizes they can feel extremely tight, just bare with them, usually, they loosen up with use if you need as a last resort you can always trim them carefully with a pair of scissors.
One of our favourite aspects of the Apollo has to be the large hi-vis hood whether it’s hiding from the elements or giving yourself a few minutes of peace whilst safely tucked away.

The Apollo is extremely comfortable to wear, with ergonomic 3D cut and handy fleece panel to protect your chin. The highly visible reflective detailing is especially welcome with the evenings closing in quickly.

The Apollo jacket is built with a double waist system, this is used primarily for kayaking but allows the jacket to be combined neatly with our chinook pants to create a dry waist seal.

AdvantagesNegatives
More comfortable than other options
Large Hi-Vis Hood
Dry Wrists
Waist intregration
Latex wrists can take time to get used to
Only as warm as your thermal layering
More expensive than wetsuits

Remember the Apollo jacket is not going to offer any insulation merely protection from the elements. To stay warm you will need to layer up correctly. By Using base layers and thermals are the best option. stay away from cotton and try and use more thinner layers for increased warmth. Many other sports base layers will cross over nicely from biking or running.

Yak Chinook Trousers

As a Stand-up Paddleboarder, one of our favourite pieces of equipment has to be the Chinook dry trousers. perfect for year-round use whether combined with our Apollo jacket or worn alone in warmer conditions the trousers are primarily designed for canoeing and kayaking meaning they have all the flexibility to sit, stand or hike into remote locations.

The Chinook trousers are different from your average waterproof pants due to the added reinforcement on the knees and rear panels, and the addition of the latex ankle gaskets this means that you can confidently wade into the water with only wet feel to show for it.

The ingenuitive double waist makes the Chinook ideal to combine with the Apollo by either layering together or rolling to create a dry waist seal.

AdvantagesNegatives
Dry and comfortable
Can be worn all year
Ability to combine with jacket
Lightweight and durable
Latex cuffs can take time to get used to
Needs thermal layers underneath

The Chinook pants are cut to be quite long this is primarily because they are designed for seated activities. don’t be afraid if trying them on instore you need this extra length for flexibility. and can be easily adjusted with the neoprene waist closure.

Dry Suits

Dry Suits differ from a Semi-Dry because they are a one-piece with a large dry entry zip to aid donning. The idea of a suit is to be completely dry in the harshest of environments. A drysuit is especially suited to whitewater paddlers.

Within the Yak range, we are lucky to have the Horizon suit, this is a suit that’s not just an update, but a new design, taking what was learnt from the older Yak Vanguards and the newer Crewsaver Atacama Range and combining them into one of the best suits on the market.

For a whitewater rider, a suit is a must-have. eliminating the seepage that comes with separates.

The tailored fit and pre articulated knees and elbows means this suit is absolutely epic whether seated or standing. the brushed outer is both breathable yet durable. Tucked away on the lower back is an ingenuitive stretch panel also seen on the Crewsaver range that allows the suit to really move as you do and allowing it to be super comfortable.

The twin waist provided the option of a spraydeck whilst kayaking but for SUP it offers a good adjustment to tighten in excess material and keep it out of the way.

The Horizon suit is fitted with fabric socks to keep your feet completely dry as well as the latex cuffs we have already seen on the Apollo. One big difference is the addition of the latex neck gasket to keep you super dry inside.

Because it is a complete suit the Horizon uses an extra relief zip to help for long days on the water instead of having to strip out of your suit.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Completely Dry
Fabric socks for warm dry feet
Relief Zip
Reflective detailing
Interior Braces for comfort
Higher Price
To warm in good weather

If you want a slightly cheaper option the Atacama range from Crewsaver is also a nice option without the double waist and a front zip entry for easy donning. The Atacama features a Neoglide Neck which is also extremely dry and more comfortable than latex.

Other Equipment

Footwear

Unfortunately in the UK we are rarely gifted warm water so a good set of shoes or boots are always a welcome addition. Within our Crewsaver range we have a selection of shoes, boots and socks that are certainly worth checking out.

Thicker neoprene will be warmer but think about where you will be paddling a good sole can be a welcome addition especially on shingle or gravel. To make a shoe or boot warmer you can always add a set of neoprene socks.

Leash Safety

Leashes are our primary safety tool for SUP, keeping us attached to our boards. With a lot of thought into how to improve safety current best practice has shown that in most cases a releasable waist-mounted system is going to offer the best results. At Yak we have the quick release harnesses which are normally combined with our whitewater and swiftwater rescue PFDS. Whilst we don’t recommend attaching directly to the harness on a PFD the use of an extra harness waist mounted has proven successful. allowing the fast release of the belt and lifting the leash off of your deck to give you more space when stepping back into pivot turns and less leash dragging and snagging behind.

Gloves

One of the extremities to really feel the force of the winter are the hands. Cold hands are not happy hands. The difficulties of surf gloves usually mean lower grip and dexterity, especially with thicker gloves. Within the Yak range, we favour the open palm mitt. This has a number of positives.

Firstly by keeping your fingers together means for warmer hands period. The open palm design allows you to be in contact with your paddle offering a better feeling for the paddler and then the option to easily extract your hands when you need to open a pocket or snack.

PFDS – Personal Flotation Devices

Always a subject of controversy but for us, it’s about being safe. A PFD will provide immediate flotation in the event of a swim. As an established Kayak Equipment company, PFD’s are a staple of our sport and see no reason they shouldn’t be used in all instances.

For the majority of paddlers, our basic range like the Kallista is the perfect option, lightweight and flexible the thinner front panel allows for the easy remount of the board.

All of our PFD’s are built with leisure in mind this means they are cut for movement and designed to be durable and eyecatching.

For more advanced riders focused on whitewater then there really is no substitute for the Taurus PFD. Our favourite freeride PFD whether crushing big lines or throwing the latest moves the Taurus has over 70N of lift and plenty of storage for all your whitewater safety essentials (or lunch) For a beginner the Taurus can be more difficult to remount the board due to a larger foam block in front so practice in a safe environment would be needed.

So hopefully the information has been helpful and provided some insight into how the Yak range can fit your needs for cool weather stand up paddleboarding.

Remember always dress for the worst-case scenario and don’t take unnecessary risks.

For purchasing check out our Yak adventure equipment stockists

https://crewsaver.com/uk/find-a-stockist/

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